MINNEAPOLIS – Rita is accepted by her advance owners as a “Velcro dog,” a pet that needs to be a bodies all the time. She loves children, plays antagonism and lounges on the couch all day.
Beth DeLaForest, a administrator for A Rotta Love Plus accomplishment accumulation in Minneapolis, says Rita would accomplish a absolute accommodation dog. But she can’t acquisition an buyer for Rita, who has been with the accumulation for a year now.
One big reason: Rita is a pit bull.
Rescue groups are accepting a adamantine time agreement dogs such as Rita because -to-be owners are disturbing to acquisition an allowance aggregation accommodating to accommodate advantage for a home inhabited by a dog the industry has accounted dangerous.
“Some bodies don’t appetite to go through the altercation of adopting a dog if they had to change allowance companies,” said DeLaForest.
Of the 30 applications A Rotta Love receives every month, about bristles bead out because of allowance problems.
Ever back a woman was aching to afterlife by two Presa Canarios in San Francisco bristles years ago in a case that drew civic attention, allowance companies accept been added abstinent or akin advantage to homeowners with assertive breeds of dogs. The top targets: Rottweilers, pit bulls, Doberman pinschers and German shepherds. Insurers, who pay a abrupt amount anniversary year clearing dog-bite claims, appearance these dogs as advancing and added acceptable to advance and abuse someone.
Aggressive dogs “have been big-ticket for the industry,” said Carolyn Gorman, a Washington-based carnality admiral of the Allowance Information Institute, an industry group. Insurers “should accept the breadth to actuate what affectionate of risks they are accommodating to insure.”
But accomplishment groups and some dog owners say insurers are unfairly targeting accomplished breeds of dogs instead of aggravating to actuate whether an alone dog has a history or arrangement of agitated behavior.
St. Paul Travelers Companies Inc. does not address new behavior for homeowners with accurate dogs, admitting the aggregation beneath to acknowledge specific breeds.
Allstate Corp.’s underwriting behavior alter accompaniment to state. Hartford Financial Services Accumulation Inc. will not assure bodies with Rottweilers, pit beasts or Presa Canarios. Liberty Mutual reviews homeowner behavior on a case-by-case basis.
If a homeowner has a assertive dog, such as an Akita, German attend or pit bull, the aggregation wants to apperceive the dog’s training, anesthetic history and attitude afore chief on coverage.
Dog chaw accountability “is a growing affair … as homeowner allowance companies are accepting added picky, picky, picky,” said Terry Larkin, admiral of Twin Cities-based Larkin Allowance Consulting.
But dog owners altercate excluding dogs from homeowner behavior based alone on brand amounts to a basset adaptation of ancestral profiling. Last year, assembly in 10 states abominably approved to canyon bills that would prohibit insurers from abstinent advantage to homeowners based on their dog’s breed, according to the American Kennel Club.
Catherine Benson, a longtime Farmers Allowance customer, switched to addition aggregation a few years ago afterwards a Farmers abettor warned her the aggregation would anon aish her action if the insurer knew about her German shepherd.
“I had no abstraction the allowance aggregation had any affair with my dog,” said Benson, who lives in Minneapolis. “If I’d accepted that, I would not accept anytime said anything.”
In fact, added homeowners are either not cogent their insurers about their dogs or lying about it, breeders and some dog owners say.
But not anybody is affectionate to such dog owners. Douglas Kennedy, a Minneapolis advocate who has represented insurers in dog chaw claims, says brand restrictions will advice abash bodies from owning pit beasts and Rottweilers.
From 1979 to 1998, dog attacks dead added than 300 people, with pit beasts and Rottweilers accounting for bisected of the deaths in which the brand was known, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Added than 4.7 actor bodies are apathetic by dogs annually.
“If addition has to accept an advance dog, they should pay for it,” Kennedy said. “I’d rather not accept my kid bit.”
The behavior are affecting accomplishment groups, which now anticipate alert about alike aggravating to acquisition these dogs homes.
“People like assertive breeds but they get afraid because of the liability,” said Rita Knudson, architect and admiral of Lucky Dog Accomplishment in Brooklyn Park. “It makes me upset. These dogs accept a bad acceptability they don’t deserve.”
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